Jack Ellis originally left Bad Girls in the final episode of the sixth series when justice finally caught up with his character, Jim Fenner. However, Shed Productions persuaded Ellis to sign on for one further series and Fenner came back in the first episode of the following series.
Originally, episodes used to end with a scene known as the "nightcall", literally inmates calling out to each other from their cells at night. Whilst these scenes were popular with the fans, a large percentage of the viewing audience switched off when these scenes came on, damaging the overall ratings for the episodes. Consequently, for Series 2 [onwards], the nightcalls were dropped in favour of the immediate, dramatic cliff-hanger - the first of these saw Shell calling Jim Fenner's wife from a mobile 'phone.
Tristan Sturrock (Colin Hedges) broke his back during the filming of the sixth series. Consequently, his character was temporarily written out of the series and was absent for the final four episodes except for a brief scene in the finale. Similarly, he only appeared in the first six episodes of Series 7 before again being written out temporarily. He did not return for the eight and final series.
"The Victim" (Series 1, Episode 4) is the only episode to-date where the theme music is replaced in the closing credits. The episode ends with Crystal singing Amazing Grace out of a cell window in tribute to an inmate who has died and the song continues over the closing credits. The closing credits for Series 5, Episode 16 do not feature the theme music, but instead run silently after the shock murder of an inmate.
Amanda Barrie (Bev Tull) and Maria Charles (Noreen Biggs) were both married to the same man, actor Robin Hunter. Though Barrie and Charles both appeared in series 5, they did not feature in any episodes together.
Mandana Jones, who played Nikki Wade, planned to appear in the fourth series but producers felt that the characters Nikki and Helen Stewart would have to split up for Nikki to stay in the series, due to the fact that Simone Lahbib (Helen Stewart) had quit the series. As a consequence, Nikki was axed at the end of the third series, along with Helen
Helen Fraser reprised her role as Sylvia "Bodybag" Hollamby - with added singing and dancing! -in the 2007 production of Bad Girls The Musical in the West End. She hadn't been available for the initial West Yorkshire Playhouse production in 2006 because she was still filming Series 8 of Bad Girls for TV.
Linda Henry (Yvonne Atkins) and Nicola Stapleton (Janine Nebeski) played mother and daughter, Lorraine and Mandy Salter, in 'EastEnders' in the early 1990s. In 2011, the producers of the soap opera decided to write Mandy back into the series, with Stapleton once again playing the role. The following year, Lorraine too was brought back. However, by then, Henry was already in the series - playing Shirley Carter - so Victoria Alcock (Julie Saunders) stepped into the role.
The working title for Series 1 of "Bad Girls" was "Jailbirds". The title of the show was changed after a successful BBC documentary series about women in prison used the title "Jailbirds" a few months before the first series was shown.
The location where all the interior and most the exterior shots are filmed is actually a converted Mill complex and is on a small island in North London. The water around the island can often be seen in background shots.
Debra Stephenson (Shell Dockley) returned in Series 5. Her stint was planned to be longer than it was, but due to the fact that she had became pregnant, her stint was cut short and storylines were reworked to fit her pregnancy into the series.
The love scene between Helen and Nikki in the Series 2 finale was edited and deleted from the broadcast version. In the original version, when Helen and Nikki start kissing and Helen unbuttons Nikki's nurse uniform, revealing her bra (As in the broadcast version). Niki opens up Helen's hoodie, revealing a blue bra, Helen and Nikki make out on the sofa, Nikki puts her hands on Helen's breasts and they continue kissing and the scene ends. The deleted version was in the deleted scenes in the special features on the "Complete Collection" DVD box-set, released on November 10th 2010.
The majority of the cast have since gone on to star in lead roles in UK soap operas. Linda Henry (Yvonne Atkins), Luisa Bradshaw White (Lorna Rose), Kellie Bright (Cassie Tyler) and Annette Badland (Angela Robbins) all joined EastEnders, playing members of the same family; Debra Stephenson (Shell Dockley), Jack Ellis (Jim Fenner) and Helen Fraser (Sylvia Hollamby) went on to have roles in Coronation Street; Alicya Eyo (Denny Blood) went on to star in Emmerdale and Isabelle Amyes (Barbara "Babs" Hunt) had a guest role in several episodes of Doctors.
Series five saw the departures of some of the show's most popular characters, with fan favourites Shell Dockley, Denny Blood, Yvonne Atkins and Barbara "Babs" Hunt all making their final appearances, with Babs being the only prisoner to actually be released, and finding happiness with vicar Henry.
All episodes in Series 1 through to Series 4 (for example, the very first episode is called "Them and Us") have individual titles. However, Series 5 onwards dropped these individual titles in favour of episode numbers.
Before joining the series in 2005 as convicted murderer Pat Kerrigan. Liz May Brice starred in the 1999 futuristic prison flick "Fortress 2: Re-Entry", in the role of convicted resistance fighter Elena Rivera.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The four-bed dorm on G-Wing has a curse on it - several inmates who have been allocated to the dorm have died while in prison, including Rachel (Series 1 - suicide), Zandra (Series 2 - brain tumour), Renee (Series 2 - murdered), Shaz (Series 4 - trapped in a fire) and Al (Series 5 - accidentally poisoned). Rachel, Zandra and Al actually died in the four-bed dorm itself whilst Rachel, Zandra, Reenee and Al have all slept in the same bed at one stage (Shaz chose another bed upon learning that Zandra had died, having been allocated a bed previously where the last occupant had died).
Barbara "Babs" Hunt (Isabelle Amyes) is the victim of identity theft on two occasions. In series two, as she is being transferred to the prison, first-time inmate Babs' claustrophobia led to her having an extreme panic attack in the prison van, which resulted in prison officer Sylvia "Bodybag" Hollamby mistaking her for a mentally ill inmate, Tessa Spall, who pretends to be Babs to avoid the mental health unit. The real Babs is sedated and taken to the unit before the officers realise that they have mistaken Babs for Tessa and allowed the real Tessa to threaten governor Karen Betts. Babs in then moved to the correct section of the prison. In series 3, when Shell Dockley and Denny Blood abscond from prison, Shell obtains a fake passport in the name of "Babs Hunt" in order to flee to Spain.
Coincidentally, Nikki Wade and Barbara "Babs" Hunt who share a cell for two series, both end up on their departures in relationships with prison workers. Nikki starts a relationship with governor Helen Stewart, and on release starts a new life with her, whilst Babs begins seeing reverend Henry Mills, leading to an engagement and subsequent marriage in the prison chapel. Babs is released shortly afterwards, and gets her happy ending with her new husband.